Iran replaces deputy foreign minister who headed nuclear talks

Iran names hardline senior diplomat Ali Bagheri Kani, who is opposed to 2015 deal, to replace Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi.

Elad Benari ,

Iran nuclear program
Iran nuclear program

Iran on Tuesday named a hardline senior diplomat Ali Bagheri Kani to replace Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who served as Iran’s chief negotiator in talks on Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Reuters reported, citing Iranian state media.

Bagheri, who was named deputy foreign minister for political affairs, had been a senior negotiator in nuclear talks between Iran and the West under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from 2007 to 2013, and is a relative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Bagheri is a critic of the 2015 nuclear deal that was signed between Iran and world powers.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

The previous government, headed by former President Hassan Rouhani, had been holding indirect talks with the US on a return to the agreement.

The negotiations were adjourned on June 20, two days after Ebrahim Raisi won Iran's presidential election, and no date has been set for a resumption of dialogue.

US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said recently that Washington "can't wait forever" for Tehran to decide whether it wants to restart the talks.

In response, Iran said the United States is the one that withdrew from the deal, violated the resolution, and threatened those seeking to implement the agreement with punishment.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said the new Iranian administration is holding "internal consultations" on how to continue negotiations concerning the 2015 nuclear agreement.